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Police arrest three women for ‘tampering with evidence and protecting Arizona serial killer Cleophus Emmanuel Cooksey Jr.

January 24, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Police arrest three women for ‘tampering with evidence and protecting Arizona serial killer Cleophus Emmanuel Cooksey Jr.

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Three Arizona women have been taken into custody for purportedly tampering and hindering an investigation into Cleophus Emmanuel Cooksey Jr., who is suspected of murdering nine victims in three weeks.

Police announced last week, Cosskey Jr. 35, was arrested back on December 17th after he committed a spree of killings in Arizona.

Officers recently arrested Cooksey’s girlfriend, Liliana Vasquez, her sister Griselda and Desaree Coronado, for tampering with evidence. the Daily Mail reported.

Coronado is the mother of Jesus Real’s child. Authorities said Real was one of Cooksey’s victims.

After collecting ballistic evidence, Phoenix authorities have linked Cooksey to at least nine killings in three cities that occurred between November 27th and December 17th.

On December 11th, 25-year-old Real was murdered at roughly 3:30 pm.

Police were dispatched to reports of a shooting and discovered the victim dead when they arrived in an apartment complex, while the suspect had already fled. Real was the brother of Cooksey’s ex-girlfriend, Liliana, and Griselda Vasque.

Authorities said Coronado is the mother of Real’s child and the Vasquez sisters (pictured with Real) are the victim’s sisters. Griselda (right) posted this photo on Facebook a day after her brother’s death

Investigators said Liliana found Real’s body but left the apartment without contacting the police.

Liliana then went to pick up Griselda and called two other relatives about Real being injured and possibly dead.

They then returned to the apartment with Coronado and called 911.

When police interviewed the three women, all of them denied tampering with evidence from the scene.

However, detectives tracked Real’s phone to a motel room in Goodyear where the Vasquez sisters and Coronado were staying on December 14th.

Griselda then told officers that she took the cell phone off Real’s body on December 11th and left it with Coronado.

Coronado confessed that she had the phone and only wanted it because it had pictures of her and Real that she wanted.

Liliana reportedly said that she broke up Cooksey the night before Real was killed and left the apartment at 7 am.

Police said Real was murdered between 8 am, and 11 am. The two shell casings haven’t been recovered.

Officials said evidence also indicates that Liliana’s car was in the area of two of Cooksey’s slayings.

Cooksey was taken into custody in Phoenix on December 17 after a spree of shootings police said on Thursday.

The sisters were both charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.

Coronado has been charged with hindering prosecution, tampering with evidence, and false reporting.

Cooksey’s victims were of multiple races and ranged in age from 21 to 56.

The serial killer was an aspiring a rapper and also the grandson of a civil rights figure.

He has been behind bars since December 17th, when officers found him at the scene of his mother and stepfather’s killings.

After collecting forensic evidence and witness statements, authorities quickly linked him to seven other murders in Phoenix as well as in Avondale and Glendale.

The killing spree started on November 27th just before 11 pm, when Andrew Remillard, 27, and Parker Smith, 21, were discovered dead inside a car in Phoenix.

Detectives have not yet identified a motive and are not sure whether the man knew his victims.

On December 2nd, 35-year-old Salim Richards was murdered just before 8 p.m.

Richards was walking in the area when he was killed. Witnesses said Cooksey and Richards knew each other. Richards’ property was stolen, including a handgun.

On December 13th, 29-year-old Latorrie Beckford was murdered.

The victim was treated on scene but died soon after. Authorities had information that Cooksey was in the complex at the time, but don’t know a motive.

Two days later, Kristopher Cameron, 21, was killed.

Authorities said Liliana (left) discovered Real’s body but left the apartment without calling the police.

The victim was rushed to the hospital but died shortly after. Cameron came to that area to do a drug deal with Cooksey.

Hours later, 43-year-old Maria Villanueva was abducted just before 9 pm.

She arrived at an apartment complex and got into a vehicle with Cooksey under unknown circumstances. Her body was recovered with evidence of a sexual assault the following day.

Then, officers were called to reports of a disturbance.

Cops found Cleophus Emmanuel Cooksey Jr. with blood on him and said that he appeared to be hiding something. Rene Cooksey, 56, the suspect’s mother, and his stepfather, 54-year-old Edward Nunn, 54, were discovered dead inside the home.

Cooksey approached the officer and yelled “I’m the strongest man alive” and “I’ll cut your throat” as he arrested.

Cleophus Cooksey was charged with murder. A task force which was comprised of the Phoenix, Avondale, and Glendale police department, along with FBI profilers and ballistics experts from the ATF, worked to link him to the other slayings.

Evidence from shell casings linked at least some of the murders together, and that advances in forensics permitted investigators to get results within hours instead of weeks.

“What this came down to was an officer answering a call for service and doing the right things – taking a person into custody and noticing there were abnormalities in his behavior,” Glendale Police Chief Rick St. John said during a news conference.

Despite stereotypes of killers who wait months or years between victims, the shocking burst of murders in three weeks is an increasingly common pattern for serial killers, according to Enzo Yaksic, the co-founder of Northeastern University’s Atypical Homicide Research Group.

Arizona’s Family

“Cooksey represents the next crop of serial offenders, one not beholden to structures or averse to risk and empowered by their self-assumed sense of importance,” Yaksic stated.

The expert assumes that advances in law enforcement have put pressure on serial homicide offenders, making them more likely to concentrate their crimes into bursts of activity in a race against the clock before they are apprehended.

“While the hurried nature can sometimes make it difficult for law enforcement to catch up, it is also often the cause of their demise given that little time is dedicated to planning their homicides and preparing to evade the fallout,” Yaksic added.

Cooksey is the grandson of civil rights figure Roy Cooksey, who was prominent in Tucson from the 1960s until he died in 2009.

Cooksey was previously incarcerated for 16 years for manslaughter and armed robbery.

Those convictions were in connection with the killing of an armed robbery partner.

State records indicate that he was released last July after he was found convicted of 22 different disciplinary infractions while behind bars, including assault of prison personnel, disobeying orders, fighting, disorderly conduct, and possession of drugs.

Cooksey is facing two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and one count of possession of a weapon by a prohibited person.

He was ordered to remain in custody pending $1million cash bail and is facing seven other murder charges.

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